Students collect for United Way

Gina Maldonado

Students collected 2,270 pounds of food between two food drives held Saturday and Thursday. More than 30 volunteers collected both perishable and non-perishable goods during Saturday’s door-to-door collection in the city of Kent.

Donations from administrators and students in more than 30 buildings across campus garnered more than 40 boxes of food. Chris Hook, Kent State United Way president, stashed the boxes in his mother’s one-car garage until Saturday.

“Our garage is full of canned goods,” event volunteer Debra-Lynn Hook said. “It’s one of the joys of being Chris Hook’s mom.”

A yellow banner with red letters that spelled out United Way lay across four tables in the middle of Risman Plaza. The banner blew in the breeze, but boxes of food held the banner steady.

Event volunteers Alyssa D’Amico, senior sociology major, and French international student Jean Brunet, junior political science major, walked door to door for food. They knocked on two doors before the third door opened.

“When they open the door they usually give something,” Brunet said.

The man who opened the door donated two family-size boxes of macaroni and cheese and an extra-large can of baked beans.

Brunet and D’Amico knocked on several doors. At times, people were home and simply did not answer, but that did not deter the volunteers. The duo knocked on doors for more than an hour and collected two full bags of food.

“(It’s) kind of frustrating, but any food we collect is more food than they had,” Hook said about the number of people who answered their doors.

The food collection continued for several hours. Unanswered doors, a crisp breeze and dark looming clouds did not stop the students. D’Amico and Brunet also had to deal with a black cat that escaped from its owner after the owner opened the door to donate food.

Brown boxes filled with food covered all four tables in Risman Plaza. The cardboard pyramid could be seen from the windows of the Student Center. Dozens of bags and boxes also cluttered the cold, wet ground around the tables.

Hook, his mother and 11 other volunteers created a make-shift assembly line that organized and prepared the boxes for transport. At 1:25 p.m. volunteers began loading the United Way van with the day’s collection.

But despite weather conditions and a few mishaps, KSU’s Change Hunger food collection campaign ended at 2:30 p.m. D’Amico said she was pleased with the amount of food she collected and that “no more cats escaped.”

Contact social services reporter Gina Maldonado at[email protected].